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Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer - Treatments

 
The mainstay of treatment is surgical excision with adequately wide margins. There are guidelines to the excision margins of the various skin cancers. If the skin defect is large after excision, skin graft may be required to cover the wound. Moh’s microsurgery is a microscopically guided procedure to remove skin cancer. Other forms of treatment include cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen),curettage and electrosurgery, photodynamic therapy and radiation therapy. FDA has approved imiquimod cream to treat superficial BCC and SCC. Metastatic melanoma can be treated with interferon alpha-2b, interleukin 2 and chemotherapy.

Prognosis of Skin Cancer

Treatment and survival outcomes depend on the stage of the skin cancer when it is diagnosed. The prognosis depends on the histologic type of the malignant cell, tumour size, depth of the tumour, location of the tumour and the presence of metastases. Wide excision can potentially be curative for manyearly skin cancers. At an early stage, surgery is usually all that is needed for treatment. However, when the skin cancer is more advanced i.e. stage 3 or 4, then it is usually treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy.The early detection of skin cancer cannot be overemphasized. The only risk factor for skin cancer which can be avoided is sun exposure. In patients with a strong family history, or with multiple moles, regular examination by a skin doctor can help with early detection and treatment in the event of a skin cancer.. All patients should be followed up to detect local recurrence, metastases and additional skin cancers after treatment.

Skin Cancer - Preparing for surgery

Skin Cancer - Post-surgery care

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